I'm going to make a bold prediction.  Tuesday May 14th, in the evening, smoke will rise from the Billings Logan International Airport.

Okay, I have insider information, in this case from the airport's own press release.  The Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting unit will be conducting a training exercise that simulates a fire emergency.  They'll set a plane ablaze, sound the alarm and the firefighters rush to the rescue.  The staged disaster begins at 6:30 p.m. while you are have supper or cleaning up after.

The simulation is required from the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure personnel have the sharpened skills to handle emergencies and save lives.  The exercise is planned and will be controlled to provide as realistic a scenario while keeping it safe.  And this preparedness is done every so often.  It's a standard operating procedure.

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Don't Panic

So when you see the cloud rising from the airport, don't freak out.  Please don't call 911.  Please don't call the local radio or TV station and say "Did you see the fire at the Airport?  What happened?"

Now that I think about it, 911 Dispatch should leave a special message on their voicemail just for the 14th.  "Thank you for calling 911.  If you are calling about the fire at the Billings Logan International Airport, please rest assured this is only a test."

On a side note, if you every have the opportunity to participate in an emergency preparedness simulation, do it.  Years ago I played in a health emergency scenario in a hospital and had such fun.  I wandered the halls shell shocked, and nearly made it into trauma surgery.

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